Mini 3 Pro camera specification compared to an ordinary SLR camera

I guess this is aimed at photographers as much a pilots.

If I was to walk into a photography shop and ask for a camera (not a drone) with a similar quality to the Mini 3 Pro, what would they offer me and what sort of price would it be. I realise there are limitations to the M3P hardware, but I’m trying to ascertain how good the picture taking part is and how ‘decent’ the output is. I’m also thinking about justifying the cost of a drone by telling my better half that an ordinary camera would cost £xxx anyway, so a few extra quid for the drone isn’t bad!

Probably something like this:

Or any phone from the last couple of years.


You are not far from the most excellent Castle Cameras … pop in there. Their staff are well clued up and always been brilliant.

One of the last “on the street” photography shops - been there for donkey’s.

…but happy to serve any ass…

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I’m fairly new to drones (just bought the Mini 3 Pro) but a long time photographer. For me the biggest factors to compare would be size of sensor and type of lens. You’re probably not looking at any sort of DSLR or interchangable lens mirrorless camera in terms of comparable image quality, but maybe something like the Olympus TG-6 as an example could be. Those would be in the £400 ish zone when new I believe so arguably not far off the same price range as a new drone!

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First question is, what do you intend to do with your pictures? Are you going to get yourself a high end 12 ink photo printer with an aim to sell prints and make a few quid? Are you just wanting to display your stuff on the web for family and friends, and in here of course, maybe with the odd print thrown in here and there for family and friends. Is it about “need” or “want”
Another plug for Ken Rockwell Your Camera Doens’t Matter
The amount of megapixels and colours being advertised these days is (almost) unimportant, there are far more than we can see with our eyes so most of it is wasted, especially if being displayed on the tinterweb! It’s pretty hard these day to buy a “bad” digital camera. You can pick up a Panasonic DMC FZ45 bridge camera for 100 quid, perfectly capable of taking great shots with stunning colours. The DJI Mini2 is pretty much the best entry level drone/camera combo, more than capable of taking breathtaking pictures, have a look in here for proof. If you really want to get into photography, look at and study art.
Last bit of advice. DON’T walk into a camera shop and ask for a camera with similar quality to this that or the next thing. You’ll walk out with empty pockets!!!


Awwww Ken, bless him. Rarely has anybody achieved so much fame (alright, mostly infamy), with so little talent and effort.

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He certainly divides opinion, but I agree with a lot of what he writes. More so his advice pages on how to improve your photography.

I always do field tests on kit and the mini 3 pro is no different and my conclusion is that if you like to edit your images and sent to large print the standard image is not great! 48 mp is a lot better.
My main workflow is 5 image AEB or 9 image panorama. I never use jpgs as they are 8 bit so only half the detail of a 16 bit RAW file. It’s a case of planning what method to use to suit your subject such as if your subject is moving 5 image AEB may not be suitable. With panoramas you get the extra pixels but not the dynamic range of the AEB.

depends really cameras its mainly bout the lenses at different focal length and they cost ranging in the hundreds to the thousands so depends what shots your wanted to grab, as the drone is aeriaal shots and a DSLR is on the ground so all depends what your really wanting to do, so just thijnk about what kinda photos you want to take.

This is my first post on here, so hi everyone.

I use a Sony A7IV as well as my Mini 3 Pro. In my opinion you can get an excellent image from your Mini 3 pro assuming you are in good light. A larger sensor typically does well in terms of low noise and dynamic range, and you will find your Mini 3 lacking in that aspect. Having said that, perfectly decent night skyline images are achievable if that’s your thing. You just won’t be able to make them very large.

I agree with the phone comparison, in as much that you have relatively little manual control over the drone camera in terms of aperture and, of course, there is no zoom. The images are at least as good as my iPhone 12 Pro. Personally I much prefer the colours that come out of my Mini 3 pro to that of my iPhone.

I know I haven’t answered the question directly, but I don’t think you could purchase a new camera with as low a resolution as the Mini 3 pro and a fixed focal length. But, if you’re curious as to whether you could display images from something such as a Sony A7IV and the Mini 3 pro side my side, I would say yes, but with the limiting constraints of needing good light, minimal cropping in post production, and displaying them no larger than A3.

Shooting the Drone at 48mp increases the resolution, but I find that shortcomings of the lens render a good deal of this resolution pointless, but given the choice I would always use this where possible, as it does give you more wriggle room in post. I also always shoot in JPEG + RAW and use the DNG files for more dynamic range.

I think its horses for courses with any photography!
My drones or Sony7Riv can’t fit in my back pocket
My iphone can’t fly
I can’t justifying making my mirrorless camera fly.
I can use my M3P in more places than my M3
What is the end use for the images?

You could always get one of these :wink:

I think everyone’s missing one of the main reasons for Tony’s question: he wants to be able to tell the missus that the drone is only £xxx more than a comparable hand-held, so having one that can fly is actually a bargain. :grin:

Of course, as everyone has pointed out, a lot of things, from a decent phone, to a cheap bridge camera, to a pricey DSLR, could take “comparable” pictures. So if SWMBO isn’t clued up on such things you can probably take your pick of anything on the market to help justify your drone purchase. :wink:

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In that case, the drone is the cheaper choice in the long run. An entry level dslr with kit lens will be around £500. You also need a couple of zoom lenses. Why? You cant get close with a stock 50mm that will come with the kit, but with a drone you can fly it in close. Decent glass aint cheap, but in saying that it’s pretty hard to buy bad lenses these days with all the advances in technology. But even so, another two half decent lenses will cost a further 1k. Then you’ll need ND filters for each lens to protect the expensive glass, another £150. Spare batteries, SD cards and a bag to put it in? Thats another £150 at least. Not really needed for much nowadays due to IS lenses, but you could throw in a tripod too, maybe a small flash. So thats your starter kit coming in around 2k for a DSLR. Mini3 wins the day :rofl:

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These are the test images I did with the mini3pro, as I am interested having a lot of pixels and dynamic range to play with it a case of finding a way to get both with the sensor size you have and I came to conclusion if I want both then manual panoramas made from 5x AEB

upscaling software will certainly help but if the detail is not there then its going to struggle

Tests with the mini3 prof for resolution and dynamic range

so thes give you an idea on the resolution and file size

The pano will give you more pixels and more scene but you have to be careful with distortion.

And the 5xAEB gives you more dynamic range but can be unsuitable in windy conditions or moving subjects

Thanks everybody. I’ll have a proper read through all the replies this weekend, which starts tonight. Weekdays are a bit busy so don’t get to log on to the tablet much.